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The geometry of emptiness and fullness…
… or Art as a rational arrangement

About Utku Dervent’s works of art…

Ümit İnatçı

The remoteness-closeness relationship of art that depends on optical reality is related to the emptiness-fullness relationship of the distances between nature’s components. Given that we recognize landscapes on a frontal plane rather than with a bird’s-eye view, we observe the distance between the objects that stand in front and back, not as a geometric field but as a perceived space. When we purify a theme that consists of a rail fence that cuts a vertical tree trunk horizontally, followed by a house wall that is followed by the visible sky, from the organic form boundaries, disregarding the corresponding obligations of optical reality, and move it to an abstract art plane that depends on the comprehension of a pure form, we stumble upon the neo-plasticist works of Mondrian and van Doesburg.

We can easily say that Utku Dervent’s works come from a tradition of voidness-plenitude geometry or art as a rational arrangement. However, going beyond the pure colored spaces and solid horizontal-vertical line collisions and re-evaluating transparency and textured space layers which the neo-plastic values do not discuss, bring him closer to Kupka’s more expressive works. I believe that we can not achieve a sufficient background for the analysis of Dervent’s art by utilizing these references. Still, attempting to deny the roots of a notion is similar to erasing the foot prints of those in pursuit of becoming an artist. An action of such memory deletion would also be inconsistent with the artist’s nature. If we could comprehend how much of these so-called ‘’current’’ works of art are made with archaic instinct and include expressions based upon a recurring formality, we could appreciate them as units of information that contain ‘’memory’’ rather than the ‘’current’’. In fact, it would have been more appropriate to discuss the vanishing of the memories, rather than the so-called current. Because, the thing that drives us to want is the effect of our experiences projected on the mind; not the things that flow on the picture as current events.

At this stage, we can consider Dervent’s work as an art that attempts to purify itself from such concerns and to exclude episteme consciously. Furthermore, these paintings do not include a methodic doxa. Dervent is in pursue of an intellectual work that depends on concrete art data, by taking only the knowledge and the integrity of his own work and deducing from it an application of a mental arrangement. Assembling a painting that makes use of the effects of a spatial shift, rather than the mental pictures that induce implications includes an effort to become liberated from meaning as well. The thing that is semantical is the action itself, not the contents of the image. The color textures that are occasionally encountered as a dynamic space between the horizontal and vertical shifts on the plain color bands, which also include a resonating transparency, materialize the mating of certainty and coincidence. From this union between the thing in itself and the synthetic fomality, or from this closeness between the pure form and overall surface, both of which are productive, a dualistic data of aesthetics emerges.

Considering the relationship between light and shade, these paintings feature an interconnectedness of light and darkess portrayed as themselves, rather than a reflection of a mass as asilhoutte over a surface. The distribution of light and color potency over the geometric plane as transparency and intensity, and the transormation of the void that belongs to the atmospheric totality, to a flux creating impact, constitutes the systematic of Dervent’s work. Here, the harmony between time and space becomes a principle that drives change.